Responsible Neighbourhood-news

HeenenWeer Foundation expands in Amsterdam

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Social Mobility Assistance for the disabled now also in district care area Oud Zuid

Flora Breemer, member of the Executive Board of Stadsdeel Zuid, fired the starting gun for the expansion in Amsterdam Zuid at RAI Amsterdam with the organization of Stichting HeenenWeer on Wednesday, August 25.

Those who live in the Pijp and Rivierenbuurt neighborhoods have probably seen them. Small bright green electric cars in which neighborhood volunteers drive people who have difficulty walking around the neighborhood, short rides back and forth. Stichting HeenenWeer, the social mobility service for disabled residents is expanding to the Oud Zuid care area. For just 1 euro, disabled residents in the neighborhood can book a ride to the supermarket, the doctor or to a neighborhood friend, for example.

More than just a ride there and back

Mia and Titia, founders of the HeenenWeer Foundation, experienced a lack of accessible mobility options for people with mobility problems when it comes to short trips. They therefore decided 4 years ago to establish the HeenenWeer Foundation for this purpose. Since then, they have been able to make more than 20,000 rides possible. They also emphasize the social value of the service: “We offer mobility in a low-threshold way, so that people who are less able can still continue to do their daily things. Thanks to the rides, we help our neighbors live independently at home for longer, maintain social contacts and be an active part of the neighborhood, among other things.'

Expanding in Amsterdam

Due to corona, the foundation was unable to operate for a while, as HeenenWeer's cars were not prepared for a pandemic. In recent months, residents with a temporary larger HeenenWeer car could still go to the RAI for a vaccination, for example. Now the original cars have been fitted with the necessary safety measures, with which they can drive again according to corona guidelines. 'We hope eventually to provide all district care areas in the city with this service, everyone deserves to be part of their own living environment and be able to enjoy it. Even if you are less mobile,' Titia and Mia said.

A service for and by the neighborhood

The foundation is set up for and by the neighborhood. The drivers are volunteers from the neighborhood and the parking facilities are also made possible by neighborhood partners. RAI Amsterdam, together with d'Oude Raai, facilitates the parking of cars from HeenenWeer de Pijp and Rivierenbuurt. In addition, more and more neighborhood parties are standing up to help finance the cars.

'However, we can still use help with this. We have set up a crowdfunding campaign, hoping to raise funds to cover the costs of the cars. If neighbors or residents of Amsterdam would like to help, you can do so via this link. We know like no other that every euro counts,” said Titia and Mia.